Sep 262018

This morning, we finished off the creation of the End Caps for all of the 33 rafters of the Skylight. They had a pilot hole drilled into the sticking out tab bit, and then this tab was reduced so it could slide into the end of the rafter bars. Finally, they were all given a bit of a rub to smooth edges and remove burrs.

End Caps All Done, First 27 Rafter Bars Also Done


Then, after lunch, we got on with the task of slicing up our stock of rafter bars with their covers, which was supplied as nine lengths of 3metres long and 5 lengths of 4.8metres. These were first sliced into more manageable pieces, before one end (including the white cover at the same time) had a 15degree bevel cut. We did the first 27 rafter bars measuring 1328mm long at the base (plus another 4mm for the angle cut).
End Caps All Done, First 27 Rafter Bars Also Done


Then we made another template to hold the ends of each rafter bar with one of the end caps, both centralised, which allowed us to drill another hole into the aluminium bars. A stainless steel screw was inserted to lock the end cap into place.
End Caps All Done, First 27 Rafter Bars Also Done


Tomorrow, we will finish that job and then tackle the next tricky task of drilling clearance holes for the fixing bar near the bottom of each polycarbonate sheets!

 Posted by at 6:08 pm
Sep 252018

We finished off the installation of the rubber gasket strips on all the rafters and also the complete circuit of the outer rim of the skylight.

All Rubber Gasket strips Fitted and Started Creating End Caps for Rafters


Then in the workshop, we started the task of making aluminium end caps for all our 33 rafters, to cover up the cut ends and also hold in the polycarbonate sheets too. The bar manufacturer sells end caps but they are over large and would cost us £150!
We took a T shaped aluminium bar, 50mm across by 25mm deep and using a drill press and a core drill bit, cut out 50mm circles to end up with a flat slightly offset circle with a sticking out tab behind it. The tab will be screwed into the ends of the rafter glazing bars before we install it.

All Rubber Gasket strips Fitted and Started Creating End Caps for Rafters


All Rubber Gasket strips Fitted and Started Creating End Caps for Rafters


All Rubber Gasket strips Fitted and Started Creating End Caps for Rafters


Tomorrow, we will finish off this job, smoothing the rough edges and cutting the tab down to 30mm wide to allow these end caps to slide in and will have a screw to self -tap into the aluminium rafter bar to lock it down.

 Posted by at 6:33 pm
Sep 242018

This morning, we created a further set of glazing bars for clamping down the fourth edge along the bottom of each window in the Skylight. It is a 20mm wide and 4mm thick in a so-called feather edge style. We sliced up our supply of 7 lengths of 4metres strips, into 33 individual pieces, 10 were 1metre long, 21 were 800mm long and the final 2 were 600mm long, to fit the various width windows (33 of them!) around the whole Skylight. Each of these strips were then glued onto strips of rubber membrane so these aluminium pressure bars will not scratch or dig into the polycarbonate plastic window panes, especially when there is a temperature difference and the plastic expands and shrinks over the course of a day in different seasons.

Additional Glazing Pressure Bars Created and First of the Rubber Gaskets fitted, along with the Three Support Pillars for Bird Disruptor


While the glue was drying, we went outside to start fixing all the rubber gaskets to the skylight framework. We tackled the ridge beam, which also needed three stainless steel threaded rods fitted too, one at each end and one in the middle, to support the Bird Disruptor.
Additional Glazing Pressure Bars Created and First of the Rubber Gaskets fitted, along with the Three Support Pillars for Bird Disruptor


Additional Glazing Pressure Bars Created and First of the Rubber Gaskets fitted, along with the Three Support Pillars for Bird Disruptor


Tomorrow, we will cut up the rest of the rubber gasket into strips of 1280mm long (27 in total) and a further 4 strips of 1800mm long pieces (for the diagonal rafters). The final line of rubber sealing strips will be the outer rim, stop and starting at each rafter.

 Posted by at 6:15 pm
Sep 222018

Today (and a bit from yesterday), we resumed the assembly of our Skylight framework, working along the front, then along the back side, both towards the right hand end and finally finishing off the whole framework with the five way coming together of rafters. All was successfully glued and screwed into place.

Skylight Framework Fully Assembled and Installed on Roof


Skylight Framework Fully Assembled and Installed on Roof


Now we have started on the next phase of putting on the rubber membrane and gaskets all over the white surfaces, with the completion of a “skirt” strip around the whole outer edge. This skirt is 100mm wide and it was glued and stapled right on the outside top edge of the frame, just below the slot and it falls down on the outside towards the kerb. Eventually, the breathable roofing membrane will come up the roof slope and tuck under this rubber skirt to seal the skylight to the roof, it also provide protection against the rays from the Sun for the membrane and ensures that it will last for years to come.
Skylight Framework Fully Assembled and Installed on Roof


Skylight Framework Fully Assembled and Installed on Roof


Finally, we brought into our workshop all the aluminium glazing bars and other bits and pieces, ready to cut them into their assigned lengths. We chopped some sample pieces so we can get a handle on how they feel and how they fit together.
On Monday, we will start on the Ridge and sort out the stainless steel bolts (three of them), slice up the glazing bars and start stapling on the rubber gaskets.

 Posted by at 6:05 pm
Sep 202018

Today, this afternoon, we resumed the job of assembling the bits and pieces to build our Skylight module. We went around the left end of the skylight and along the front, doing another seven rafters, two diagonal rafters and three sections of the rims.

Half of Skylight is Assembled


Half of Skylight is Assembled


Everything got the same treatment as yesterday, all glued and screwed and all holes were filled and sealed against water.

Tomorrow, we will carry on along the front and around the right end and proceed along the back side to complete the whole thing. Also our polycarbonate glazing sheets are expected to arrive tomorrow – Good Stuff!

 Posted by at 6:04 pm
Sep 202018

Yesterday morning and this morning, we continued with the calculations for the Slates and all the accessories to cover our roof. A 18 page spreadsheet was used to quantify the number of tiles, the number of rows and what sort of angled adjustments is needed for the various hips and valleys ends, depending on which roof section is under the spotlight. We are getting close to a final set of numbers, just need to run through the calculations again to verify the results before we start the process of ordering everything. The quantities are as follows:

  • 17200 300mm x 200mm “normal” slates
  • 700 300mm x 300mm “wide” slates
  • 3550 metres of 50mm x 25mm tiling battens
  • 700 metres of 38mm x 25mm counter battens
  • 300 metres of 1.5 metre wide Breathable water barrier membrane
  • 90 metres of valley drainage channel

We just need to double check these figures, plus any other material we would need, like for example, for the guttering and anything else for our roof!

 Posted by at 1:19 pm
Sep 192018

Yesterday we started on the task of installing and assembling our Skylight framework for real, right on top of our roof – at last!
The first job was to finish off putting on the wooden platform on the second scaffolding tower and get that ready for action. Then, using strips of foam, tied down with a lifting rope, we hauled up all the very long pieces, six of them individually and laid them resting on the steel cross tie bars. The shorter pieces of the outer rim parts, we carried up in pairs by hand, around and up the sloping roof to place these six items in their rightful places.
Then we concentrated on getting the ridge beam up on the nine central steel posts. We temporarily installing the two end rafters (inline with the ridge beam), so we could verify that the beam was in the correct position. Then we went to each of the nine points to glue and screw down tight the beam, including putting white PU sealant all over the middle kink joint too.

Assembly of Skylight Starts ..


Today, in the afternoon, we resumed the task, this time getting the outer rim edge (we decided to work on the back of the skylight first) positioned in the correct place, using a couple of rafters and were made to be as right angled as possible. Then we proceeded to get six rafters glued and screwed into place, plus also screwing and gluing this section of the rim too. Plenty of the white PU sealant was used to cover up all the joints and the head of the screws to provide a waterproof seal against rain water.
Assembly of Skylight Starts ..


 Posted by at 6:21 pm
Sep 172018

This morning, we used our new tool for the first time (a power file – a spinning little belt sander) to clean out the slots in all the various framework pieces that had dribbles of the resin stuff. This was the final stage of the preparation task before we could start installing and assembling the skylight up on the roof.
To this aim, this afternoon, we sorted out our scaffolding towers, putting a fresh new one up and getting it ready with the working platform etc. We had to do a quick repair job on one of the nut clamping point because the bolt had got really stuck and it sheared off. So we had to cut off the old nut and weld on a new one!
The other tower needed one more layer of the scaffold elements, so the second tower would be high enough to reach the Skylight region at the top of the building (We were lucky! the scaffold only just clears the steel skylight framework) !

Final Bit of Preparation on Skylight Joints and Scaffolding Towers Sorted


Final Bit of Preparation on Skylight Joints and Scaffolding Towers Sorted


Tomorrow, we will just quickly install the other working platform and safety kick boards and hand rails and we will be all ready to start the task of bringing up all the pieces of the Skylight module.

 Posted by at 6:29 pm
Sep 152018

Yesterday and today, we got down to the task of preparing our Skylight framework and all its individual pieces, to get them ready to be installed up on the top of the roof. The first job was to clean the bottom surface of all the items, to remove all the dribbles etc. and produce a clean surface, ready for gluing.
Then, we drilled out the fixing holes in all the rafters (all 33 of them) and countersunk them too so that the head of the screws will disappear down below the surface and be covered up with PU sealant. More holes were drilled in all our outer Rim pieces, so we now got three fixing points in every “window” section around the whole skylight (there are 33 “windows” in total) so this means a total of 99 screws to secure our framework to the Kerb.
The last job on these framework pieces was to cut a 3mm wide slot down the middle of the Rim items, this to allow the rubber gasket to be secured and held into place.

Two Days of Skylight and Kerb Preparations


Two Days of Skylight and Kerb Preparations


Finally, the Kerb needed to be “cleaned” to remove the 18months of weathering. We used our power planer and went around the whole 36metres length of the Kerb, trimming any plywood or OSB edging that turned out to be a little high and also levelled off any steps at transitions points between lengths of timber in the construction of the Kerb.

On Monday, we will use our latest tool, a power file (a narrow belt sander – 13mm wide) to clean an remove the last of the dribbles of the white polyester resin from all the wide slots in the Rim edging pieces (where the rafters will go). Then get the scaffolding towers sorted out and then we can really truly get the whole framework installed! Hurray!

 Posted by at 5:58 pm
Sep 132018

Yesterday and today, we continued with the task of coating the white top coat of the polyester resin on the wooden framework of the Skylight. We finally finished it today mid-afternoon.

Day 2 and 3 of Covering Framework With White Layer


Day 2 and 3 of Covering Framework With White Layer


Tomorrow, we will check all the surfaces for any defects, rub down any spiky bits and sand clean the bottom edge (this never had any treatment with the various resins) and drill fixing holes so it is ready for gluing and screwing down to the Kerb. The visible interior portions (like the bottom of the rafters) can be painted in the traditional manner later on when we decorate the interior.
Then it would be the big job of hauling all the pieces up to the roof and the Skylight to install the whole framework into place.

 Posted by at 4:30 pm